History Literature / TheBlackCompany

30th Mar '17 1:28:29 PM Derkhan
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* {{Asexuality}}: As a result of [[RapeAsBackstory being raped by her uncles in her youth]], Sleepy has no interest in sex. There are rumors that he may have slept with close friend Willow Swan, but he adamantly denies them (though Croaker thinks that it may have happened only once or twice, judging by her reaction to [[spoiler:news of Swan's death]]).

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* {{Asexuality}}: As a result of [[RapeAsBackstory being raped by her his uncles in her his youth]], Sleepy has no interest in sex. There are rumors that he Sleepy may have slept with close friend Willow Swan, but he Sleepy adamantly denies them (though Croaker thinks that it may have happened only once or twice, judging by her Sleepy's reaction to [[spoiler:news of Swan's death]]).



* FiveManBand: A few different ones as characters move up the ranks and die off.
** In ''The Books of the North''
*** TheHero - The Captain, later Darling
*** TheLancer - The Lieutenant
*** TheSmartGuy - Split between Croaker, Goblin, and One-Eye
*** TheBigGuy - Silent and Raven
*** TheChick - The Lieutenant again, as the only one who seems to be able to get Goblin and One-Eye to knock it off.
** In ''The Silver Spike''
*** TheHero - Darling
*** TheLancer - Silent, though Raven wishes he was the Lancer
*** TheBigGuy - Raven
*** TheSmartGuy - Bomanz
*** TheChick - Old Father Tree, whose orders keep the group from splintering
** In ''The Books of the South''
*** TheHero - Croaker
*** TheLancer - Lady
*** TheSmartGuy - Goblin and One-Eye
*** TheBigGuy - Mogaba
*** TheChick - Murgen, the person who brokers an alliance between the Company veterans and Nyueng Bao. Definitely ''not'' Lady, who lays down swathes of destruction in her wake.
** In ''Water Sleeps''
*** TheHero: Sleepy
*** TheLancer: First Ky Sahra, later Willow Swan
*** TheBigGuy / TheSixthRanger: Uncle Doj
*** TheSmartGuy: Goblin
*** TheChick: Ky Sahra
29th Mar '17 12:54:24 AM Yozzy
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* AbsentAliens: No elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs, or other fantasy species. There are some ''very'' weird nonhuman creatures in the Plain of Fear, but they've got a very minor role in the plot. Some of those creatures show up in a short story set in his SF Starfishers universe, but it's unknown if there's a connection between the two or if he just re-used an idea. Later in the series, a character mentions dwarves that like to go underground and work as miners, but explicitly identified them as "mythical creatures", making it seem like a ShoutOut at best. Even the gods of the story are uncertain in their existence [[spoiler:and the lone exception, Kina, is revealed to actually have been a Sorcerer of immense power from a time so long ago that her history has turned to myth.]]

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* AbsentAliens: No elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs, or other fantasy species. There are some ''very'' weird nonhuman creatures in the Plain of Fear, Fear and a few bizarre creature in the dominator's service, but they've got a very minor role in the plot. Some of those creatures show up in a short story set in his SF Starfishers universe, but it's unknown if there's a connection between the two or if he just re-used an idea. Later in the series, a character mentions dwarves that like to go underground and work as miners, but explicitly identified them as "mythical creatures", making it seem like a ShoutOut at best. Even the gods of the story are uncertain in their existence [[spoiler:and the lone exception, Kina, is revealed to actually have been a Sorcerer of immense power from a time so long ago that her history has turned to myth.]]



** [[spoiler:The White Rose.]]

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** [[spoiler:The The White Rose.]]Rose, who emits an aura (known as a the "null") for quite some distance, that nullifies any active magic, rendering most mages vulnerable. Permanent magic, such as imbuements or permanent changes to a body [[spoiler:(like Limper's extreme vitality)]] are unaffected. [[spoiler:Darling]] in the White Rose's "reincarnation"; it's not certain if they were the same individual over two lives, but [[spoiler:Darling]] inherited her power.
** Goblin once mentions offhand at nulls are a known occurrence, though the White Rose is the only one who attained historical notice, probably due to the scale of power that goes well beyond her body. There's evidence to suggest that a regular nulls and anybody that they're in physical contact with are immune to spells.



** By the end of the first trilogy, [[spoiler: the major characters ''within'' the Black Company that have survived could be counted on one hand]].



* {{Asexuality}}: As a result of [[RapeAsBackstory being raped by her uncles in her youth]], Sleepy has no interest in sex. There are rumors that she may have slept with close friend Willow Swan, but she adamantly denies them (though Croaker thinks that it may have happened only once or twice, judging by her reaction to [[spoiler:news of Swan's death]]).

to:

* {{Asexuality}}: As a result of [[RapeAsBackstory being raped by her uncles in her youth]], Sleepy has no interest in sex. There are rumors that she he may have slept with close friend Willow Swan, but she he adamantly denies them (though Croaker thinks that it may have happened only once or twice, judging by her reaction to [[spoiler:news of Swan's death]]).



* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler:Happens with Darling and Case.]] The narrator mentions their grand kids don't believe a word of their stories, but think they tell the best lies ever.

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* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler:Happens with Darling and Case.]] The narrator mentions their grand kids grandkids don't believe a word of their stories, but think they tell the best lies ever.



** Raven. He's introduced as a coldhearted hardass who looks to be the Black Company's ace, but he later shows himself to be highly educated and knows a few tricks that weren't initially apparent.



** Played with and often subverted -- the protagonists are often seen to be serving the BigBad, and the Black Company is seen as a BigBad itself once they reach Taglios. The story discusses this at length -- Croaker in particular finds ways to rationalize this normally amoral behavior.

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** Played with and often subverted -- with. The Black Company are introduced in the protagonists are often seen to be North as serving the Lady, the current BigBad, and the Black Company is seen as a BigBad itself once they reach Taglios. The story discusses this at length -- Croaker in particular finds ways to rationalize this normally amoral behavior.



** [[spoiler:Soulcatcher]] had been hinted at being far more ambitious than anybody realized. [[spoiler:She had apparently intended at taking out both the Lady and the Dominator]], and taking over from there.



* BlackAndGreyMorality: At the BEST of times. But only if you ignore the description of the trope and go a whole lot more subtle.

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** In ''The Black Company'', [[spoiler:the Company has survived one of the biggest wars in history, the Rebellion all but broken. Croaker's realized Darling is the White Rose and the best shot at beating back the Lady; Raven is fleeing with her to protect her, with Croaker and Silent, acting as the {{Secret Keeper}}s, let them since Croaker is having serious doubts about further service with the lady]].
** In ''Shadows Linger'', [[spoiler:the Dominator was beaten back, but only the core of the Company have survived, now as fugitive rebels. They've reunited with Darling, giving them a solid hope, no matter the dire straits]].
** In ''The White Rose'', [[spoiler:the Dominator is finally dead, though his spirit remains; most of the Taken are dead or scattered; the Lady and Darling are both stripped of their powers. With the wars over and most antagonists gone, the Company and the North can live in relative peace. The Company is reduced to ten men, and four of them, including Silent, elect to leave. The Lady's empire remains the dominant political force, but a lack of leadership threatens long term stability. With nothing left for them there and still technically fugitive, though they have the Lady's protection, the remnants of the Company elect to return to Khatovar far to the South]]. Though it came with a steep price, this one is the closest thing to a peaceful ending the Company has gotten yet.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: At the BEST best of times. But only if you ignore the description of the trope and go a whole lot more subtle.



** Darling. She was introduced being gangraped by the Limper's men with nearly everyone she knew having just been killed, and her grandfather dies shortly thereafter. Raven, not too long after, takes her from her friends into hiding, [[spoiler:where he is overprotective to the point of domineering, and he fakes his death when Darling opens up about having feeling for him]]. Darling [[SubvertedTrope actually takes these matters]] with surprising toughness and wisdom, even for somebody as young as she is.



* BunnyEarsLawyer: One-Eye and Goblin are thoroughly reprehensible human beings. That said, they're also wizards with enough power to be useful to the Company, but not so much power that they can't be controlled.

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* BunnyEarsLawyer: One-Eye and Goblin are thoroughly reprehensible human beings. beings more interested in causing each other grief than doing their jobs. That said, they're also competent wizards who can be relied when the situation calls for it, and with enough power to be useful to the Company, but not so much power that they can't be controlled.



** It's obviously less apparent given the medium, but the aesthetic is can be filled in if you take the cover art as a visual guide.



* TheDragon:
** The Lady ''was'' this to the Dominator in her back story. She herself doesn't have a clear example- Soulcatcher is the strongest Taken, but she's also the most treacherous. At various times, this role would be taken up by the Black Company and the Limper.

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* TheDragon:
TheDragon: Surprisingly many, sometimes [[CoDragons more than one at a time]], and [[DragonWithAnAgenda most of them treacherous]].
** The Lady ''was'' this and wife to the Dominator in her back story. She herself doesn't have story, and he also had [[QuirkyMinibossSquad the Ten who were Taken]] to act as his chief enforcers.
** The Lady, when she's released, takes charge and brings the Taken with her but leaves her husband because [[EvenEvilHasStandards he was just that bad]]. The Lady didn't carry
a clear example- second-in-command as the Taken prove to be less than reliable: most of them were plotting to overthrow her by releasing the Dominator; Soulcatcher is was the strongest Taken, but she's also she was the most treacherous. treacherous as a WildCard. At various times, this role would be taken up by the Black Company and eventually the Limper.



** As a result of [[spoiler:Old Father Tree's presence,]] the Plain of Fear sports walking trees, talking rocks, coral reefs in the middle of the desert, [[FlyingSeafoodSpecial wind-whales, flying mantas,]] and storms that temporarily distort reality.

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** As a result of [[spoiler:Old Father Tree's presence,]] the Plain of Fear sports walking trees, talking rocks, and ambulatory menhirs, coral reefs in the middle of the desert, [[FlyingSeafoodSpecial wind-whales, wind-whales and flying mantas,]] mantas that can spit lightning]], and storms that temporarily distort reality.



* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The Taken: Soulcatcher steals souls, Shapeshifter changes shapes, The Howler howls a lot, The Limper limps... you get the idea.

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* EvilTowerOfOminousness: The Black Castle in Juniper and nobody quite knows where it came from or what's inside. Legend holds that it started as a black stone found next to a dead man and it killed the first who touch it. It's been growing over the centuries, and nobody's quite sure why. [[spoiler:It's a magical construct sent out by the Dominator, and it's built up with the bodies of the dead. It's fueling the illegal body trade in Juniper by buying up the dead, and the living for the particularly ruthless. If it reaches "critical mass", it'll act as a gateway which could let him out]].
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The Taken: Soulcatcher reputedly steals souls, Shapeshifter changes shapes, The Howler howls a lot, The Limper limps... you get the idea.



* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent:
** The Forvalaka -- terrifyingly deadly monsters, generally described as "undead were-leopards". Blindingly fast and capable of healing nearly any wound in seconds, they require high order sorcery to have even a chance to defeat. Some wizards can take their forms to devastating effect, most notably Shapeshifter and his apprentice.

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* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent:
OurWerebeastsAreDifferent:
** The Forvalaka -- terrifyingly deadly monsters, generally described as "undead were-leopards". Blindingly fast fast, horribly strong, and capable of healing nearly any wound in seconds, they require high order sorcery to have even a chance to defeat. Some wizards can take their forms to devastating effect, most notably Shapeshifter [[spoiler:Shapeshifter and his apprentice.apprentice]].



** Subverted with The Rebel, who are actually worse than what they're rebelling against. Played straight when [[spoiler:Darling and the Company take over the rebellion.]]

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** Subverted with The Rebel, who whose leaders are actually worse than what they're rebelling against. Played straight when [[spoiler:Darling and the Company take over the rebellion.]]


Added DiffLines:

* ReforgedIntoAMinion: The Taken. A Taking is a lengthy, bizarre, and horrible magical procedure, that may or may not kill the subject and bring them back to life as part of the process. What it does do is bring the subject wizard into the fold of the Dominator [[spoiler:or the Lady]], giving them control of the wizard, mutual telepathic access, and a power up to boot.
26th Mar '17 6:07:14 AM Derkhan
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* TheChosenOne: The White Rose, who emits a [[AntiMagic magic null field]], which doesn't do much to hurt mages by itself, but it can make the otherwise invincible vulnerable. Goblin mentions offhand once that there may be more nulls. [[WMG It's possible]] that the White Rose is just a more powerful null than any other.
** She's also prophesied to reincarnate and return to defeat the Lady at the appearance of a certain comet in the sky. The Rebel[[note]]Croaker's way of writing "the rebellion"[[/note]], unable to find the ''real'' chosen one before the Battle at Charm, eventually just grabs a random kid to fill the role at the eleventh hour for a morale boost. [[spoiler:Like the many of them, the kid dies a horrible death.]] The third book, ''The White Rose'', deals with the real girl, [[spoiler:who is a young girl found by the Black Company early in the first book]], and the attempted fulfillment of the prophecy.

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* TheChosenOne: The White Rose, who emits a [[AntiMagic magic null field]], which doesn't do much to hurt mages by itself, but it can make the otherwise invincible vulnerable. Goblin mentions offhand once that there may be more nulls. [[WMG It's possible]] that the White Rose is just a more powerful null than any other.
** She's also
prophesied to reincarnate and return to defeat the Lady at the appearance of [[CometOfDoom a certain comet comet]] in the sky. This trope is first deconstructed then used straight in the ''Books of the North'':
**
The Rebel[[note]]Croaker's way of writing "the rebellion"[[/note]], unable to find the ''real'' chosen one before the Battle at Charm, eventually just grabs a random kid to fill the role at the eleventh hour for a morale boost. [[spoiler:Like the many of them, the kid dies a horrible death.]] ]]
**
The third book, ''The White Rose'', deals with the real girl, [[spoiler:who is a young girl found by the Black Company early in the first book]], and the attempted fulfillment of the prophecy.prophecy. She emits a [[AntiMagic magic null field]], which doesn't do much to hurt mages by itself, but it can make the otherwise invincible vulnerable. Goblin mentions offhand once that there may be more nulls, but it's possible that the White Rose is just a more powerful null than any other.



* CometOfDoom: The comet associated with the Dominator and his Empire, and later the Lady, which has a round trip of roughly 29 years. It first turned up when he established the Domination, and a few turns later was when he was brought down. Whenever it showed up again, it was seen as a portent that he would return, and one of them was when the Lady and the Taken came out. Whenever it passes without incident, people settle down to play the long game.
** In another instance, the big battle starts up about 20 years early, and it shows up anyways.

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* CometOfDoom: The comet associated with the Dominator and his Empire, and later the Lady, which has a round trip of roughly 29 years. It first turned up when he established the Domination, and a few turns later was when he was brought down. Whenever it showed up again, it was seen as a portent that he would return, and one of them was when the Lady and the Taken came out. escaped their barrows. Whenever it passes without incident, people settle down to play the long game.
** In
game. However, in another instance, the big battle starts up about 20 years early, and it the comet shows up anyways.
26th Mar '17 2:13:36 AM Yozzy
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* TheChosenOne: The White Rose is prophesied to return and defeat the Lady at the appearance of a certain comet in the sky. Rebel[[note]]Croaker's way of writing "the rebels"[[/note]], unable to find the ''real'' chosen one, eventually just grabs a random kid to fill the role for a morale boost. [[spoiler:The kid dies a horrible death.]] The third book, ''The White Rose'', deals with the real girl, [[spoiler:who is a young girl found by the Black Company early in the first book]], and the attempted fulfillment of the prophecy.

to:

* TheChosenOne: The White Rose, who emits a [[AntiMagic magic null field]], which doesn't do much to hurt mages by itself, but it can make the otherwise invincible vulnerable. Goblin mentions offhand once that there may be more nulls. [[WMG It's possible]] that the White Rose is just a more powerful null than any other.
** She's also
prophesied to reincarnate and return and to defeat the Lady at the appearance of a certain comet in the sky. The Rebel[[note]]Croaker's way of writing "the rebels"[[/note]], rebellion"[[/note]], unable to find the ''real'' chosen one, one before the Battle at Charm, eventually just grabs a random kid to fill the role at the eleventh hour for a morale boost. [[spoiler:The [[spoiler:Like the many of them, the kid dies a horrible death.]] The third book, ''The White Rose'', deals with the real girl, [[spoiler:who is a young girl found by the Black Company early in the first book]], and the attempted fulfillment of the prophecy.



* CometOfDoom: The comet associated with the Dominator and his Empire, and later the Lady, which has a round trip of roughly 29 years. It first turned up when he established the Domination, and a few turns later was when he was brought down. Whenever it showed up again, it was seen as a portent that he would return, and one of them was when the Lady and the Taken came out. Whenever it passes without incident, people settle down to play the long game.
** In another instance, the big battle starts up about 20 years early, and it shows up anyways.



* DwindlingParty: [[spoiler:The Captain]] dies toward the end of ''Shadows Linger,'' starting off a trend of named characters dying. By the end of ''The White Rose,'' the Black Company is composed of just [[spoiler:six]] members.

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* DwindlingParty: [[spoiler:The Captain]] dies toward the end of ''Shadows Linger,'' starting off a trend of named characters dying. By the end of ''The White Rose,'' the Black Company is [[spoiler:is composed of just [[spoiler:six]] members.six members]].
26th Mar '17 12:12:59 AM Yozzy
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** A less extreme example is [[spoiler:The Howler]]. Narration early in ''She Is the Darkness'' notes him as so badly crippled that he prefers to use his magic to float while moving, rather than walk. There is also his uncontrollable shouting, which is dealt with in ''Soldiers Live'' but putting his head in what amounts to a fishbowl.

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** A less extreme example is [[spoiler:The Howler]]. Narration early in ''She Is the Darkness'' notes him as so badly crippled arthritic that he prefers to use his magic to float while moving, rather than walk. There is also his uncontrollable shouting, which is dealt with in ''Soldiers Live'' but putting his head in what amounts to a fishbowl.



** The first book especially deconstructs the idea of BlackAndWhiteMorality common to HighFantasy. The Lady repeatedly seeks Croaker out so that he can make a [[GrayAndGreyMorality gray, impartial]] account of events. The implication is that BlackAndWhiteMorality is actually the result of history being written by the winners.
** The setting is renown for strongly averting SquishyWizard, but looking below the surface, this is because the trope is actually being deconstructed. A power-hungry individual with significant supernatural power and enough time becomes ProperlyParanoid and uses his magic to make himself NighInvulnerable.

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** The first book especially deconstructs the idea of BlackAndWhiteMorality common to HighFantasy. Croaker occasionally notes that conflicts are are [[GreyAndGrayMorality devoid of clear heroes and villains]], and the historical narratives of [[BlackAndWhiteMorality good triumphing over evil]] are [[WrittenByTheWinners just the winners painting themselves as such]]. The leadership of the rebellion, noted for having members that are just as villainous as any of the Taken, are clearly banking on this. The Lady repeatedly seeks Croaker out so that he can make a [[GrayAndGreyMorality gray, impartial]] an impartial account of events. The implication is that BlackAndWhiteMorality is actually events, even if the result of history being written by Lady's actions wouldn't paint her in the winners.
most sympathetic light.
** The setting is renown renowned for strongly averting SquishyWizard, but looking below the surface, this is because the trope is actually being deconstructed. A While most wizards are seen or implied to be without it, [[ArmorAndMagicDontMix armor doesn't inhibit magic]]. Second, a power-hungry individual with significant supernatural power and enough time becomes ProperlyParanoid and uses his magic to make himself NighInvulnerable.



%%* DirtyCoward: One-Eye and Goblin (''especially One-Eye'') are rare sympathetic examples.

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%%* * DirtyCoward: One-Eye and Goblin (''especially One-Eye'') are rare sympathetic examples.examples. They have a rather cowardly tendency to put themselves out of harm's way, even when they would be most effective in the thick of it.



* TheEmpire: The Lady's Empire in the North, which the Black Company works for for a while.

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* TheEmpire: The Domination was a historical Empire that ended about 430 years before the beginning of the first book. It ended when the White Rose lead a rebellion which toppled [[EvilOverlord the Dominator]], and put him and his officers into magical stasis since they were too powerful to kill outright. The Dominator's wife, the Lady, and his top officers, the Taken, were freed and they started their own empire.
**
The Lady's Empire in the North, which the Black Company works for for a while.while. While [[LawOfConservationOfDetail we don't quite see enough detail]] to suss out what life under the Empire was like, it's pretty expansionist and militaristic, the soldiers are willing to rape and plunder, and the leadership is a pretty messed up lot.



** The Howler seems to be so good with flying carpets because he has trouble walking, in addition to his tic of constantly screaming.

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** The Howler seems to be so good with flying carpets because he has trouble walking, in addition to his tic of constantly frequently screaming.



* FanFic: In-universe. Croaker writes them about the Lady. He has a hard time living it down when the rest of the company gets a whiff of that.

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* FanFic: In-universe. Croaker writes them about the Lady. He has a hard time living it down when the rest of the company gets a whiff of that. It looks like an affect she has on men who become infatuated with her.



* FlyingSeafoodSpecial: [[EldritchLocation The Plain of Fear]] is home to wind-whales and flying mantas.

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* FlyingSeafoodSpecial: [[EldritchLocation The Plain of Fear]] is home to wind-whales and flying the gigantic, tentacled wind whales, flying, lightning spitting mantas.



%%* GeneralFailure: The Limper.

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%%* * GeneralFailure: The Limper.Limper has a record of embarrassing defeats through the war with the Rebel. Part of it appears to be that he was able to succeed by brute forcing most of his problems and has difficulty in transitioning to a role that requires careful thought. Another part of it was that Soulcatcher, a much more subtle and crafty individual, was working behind the scenes to undermine him.
22nd Mar '17 4:05:18 PM ImpudentInfidel
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* TheCycleOfEmpires: A big part of ''The Silver Spike'' is characters realizing that TheEmpire has moved from Expansion to Stabilization, and that the excesses of its original masters are no longer tolerated. This causes Toadkiller Dog to switch allegiances from the Limper to the new regime, and finally convinces the rebels to call it a win and go home.

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* TheCycleOfEmpires: A big part of ''The Silver Spike'' is characters realizing that TheEmpire has moved from Expansion to Stabilization, and that the excesses of its original masters are no longer tolerated. This causes Toadkiller Dog to switch allegiances from the Limper to the new regime, and finally convinces the rebels to call it a win and go home.home after helping them finish him off.
22nd Feb '17 3:01:36 PM Derkhan
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Not to be confused with [[VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany Bad Company]].

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Not to be confused with [[VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany Bad Company]].''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany''.
22nd Feb '17 2:59:54 PM Derkhan
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Not to confuse with [[VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany Bad Company]].

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Not to confuse be confused with [[VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany Bad Company]].
21st Feb '17 3:25:13 PM JustTroper
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Added DiffLines:

* ElectiveMute: The aptly named wizard Silent certainly qualifies. The circumstances leading to his vow of silence are speculated on by the narrator and other members of the company but are ultimately never revealed (everyone leaves their past and their real name behind when they sign up.) Refusing to utter a word doesn't make him any less badass a soldier or competent a wizard. Indeed, his speaking in sign language is eventually adopted by other members of company as for use as military hand signals.
8th Feb '17 7:05:52 AM Derkhan
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* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Darling is probably the simplest straight example of this, though Ky Sahra is a close runner-up until she gets a lot more pragmatic about things by the time of ''Water Sleeps''. After them, the most beautiful people in the series have done some seriously dark things or are just outright viciously evil. Soulcatcher intentionally invokes EvilIsSexy by dressing all in tight black leather and sorcerously enhancing her features because it distracts and unnerves people in combination with her general madness and VoiceOfTheLegion, as Willow Swan attests.
** Not true and completely averted in the case of Darling. In The White Rose, Darling is actually described as someone with almost nothing feminine about her. Tall, right under 6 feet, with washed out blue eyes with hair shorter than stylish for practical reasons. She dresses in utilitarian clothes. Not even her face is exceptional.
-->'''Croaker:''' Darling is a young thing yet, just into her middle twenties. But the bloom of youth has abandoned her. Hard years have piled on hard years. There is little feminine about her. She had no chance to develop in that direction. Even after two years on the Plain none of us think of her as Woman. She is tall, maybe two inches under six feet. Her eyes are a washed-out blue that often seems vacant, but they become swords of ice when she is thwarted. Her hair is blonde, as from much exposure to the sun. Without continuous attention it hangs in straggles and strings. Not vain, she keeps it shorter than is stylish. In dress, too, she leans toward the utilitarian. Some first-time visitors are offended because she dresses so masculine. But she leaves them with no doubts that she can handle business.
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